On the latest episode of Jay Leno's Garage the guest's are both from inside the garage: the man they call Professor Jim Hall, Leno's master fabricator, and the 1966 Lotus 26R that he spent 18 months building. The Elan 26R was the racing version of the Elan that Lotus founder Colin Chapman began building after watching privateer teams prep their roadgoing Elans for competition duty all over Europe. Built by the factory from 1964-1966, drivers like Jim Clark and Jackie Stewart won silverware in the roadster called "the giant killer."

Hall, a veteran Lotus wrench, started with the 1966 Elan street car and turned it into a 26R that's arguably better than the factory original. Except for the engine block and head, original 26R body and Elan chassis, just about everything is custom built, highly modified or special order, from the fabricated oil pan, brake lines, safety wiring and oval exhaust tubing to the six-speed sequential transmission.

The episode is an unusually-long 21 minutes because, as an in-house build, Leno can go through the process of putting the whole roadster together. When he takes it for a drive and keeps going on about how it sings, you can hear it, too. It's worth the time to check out Mr. Hall's Opus in the video below.



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  • 22 Comments
      rbnhd1144
      • 9 Months Ago
      AWESOME!, I loved Every minute. Jay Leno a classy guy with the right ideas, he is "Living The Dream" and Sharing it with us, Thanks Jay, its much appreciated. The work and detail on this car blows my mind., Id call it perfection, well Done Mr Hall and friends. I bought a Corgi model of the Elan back in the 60s, I still have it in the box. Its wonderful to see Chapmans work live on, so many people have copied his work, its speaks volumes...
      PTC DAWG
      • 9 Months Ago
      Awesome car...
      Tesla Fan
      • 9 Months Ago
      if a truck hit this from the side the truck would drive over the driver's body, ouch
        lasertekk
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Tesla Fan
        And if an Amtrak hit the truck from the side the amtrak would drive over the drivers body, ouch.
      Lurker
      • 9 Months Ago
      Great car but what's with the driver's door?
      HAL
      • 9 Months Ago
      Awesome segment! What a car. 1300+ lbs! I'm sure it's a blast to drive. I wonder how it carves up the corners?
      Luke
      • 9 Months Ago
      Is there a count on that guys collection? I swear he could do 3 seasons of awesome TV on just the cars he owns.
      Tahoe
      • 9 Months Ago
      What a job they did. I've had 2 Type 26's and still own one. I can only dream of coming close to this car. Mine will end up with 130-140HP, stock gear box, but with the 26R look. Right now it's just a blast to drive with a few upgrades and so much fun. No need for any radio, etc. in these, the exhaust and twin weber air intake is music to my ears.
      Lurker
      • 9 Months Ago
      Great car but what's with the driver's door?
      Luke
      • 9 Months Ago
      Is there a count on that guys collection? I swear he could do 3 seasons of awesome TV on just the cars he owns.
      Tesla Fan
      • 9 Months Ago
      if a truck hit this from the side the truck would drive over the driver's body, ouch
      dss10
      • 9 Months Ago
      Very, very, very, cool but I'm waiting for some one to say that this Lotus is boring and it needs more horse power......
      Stinkyboy
      • 9 Months Ago
      I heard Leno was going to have a TV showcasing all his cars, is this true or a rumor? All of his cars need more public awareness.
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